SPORTS

Panathinaikos, full-strength up front, go in search of magic point

Panathinaikos go into tonight’s Champions League clash against Schalke 04 in Athens with a quartet of fit strikers for the first time this season. The Greeks, who are three points clear of both Real Mallorca and Arsenal in Group C, need one point to secure a berth in the next phase of the competition for the second year running. Croatia striker Goran Vlaovic is Panathinaikos’s top scorer in all competitions with 11 goals in 12 games this term, but is far from guaranteed a starting berth for the Group C leaders. The former Valencia attacker has rebounded from a poor first season at the club and scored five at the weekend, as Panathinaikos thrashed Panachaiki 8-0. Cyprus international and record club sign-up Michalis Constantinou is the only forward to appear in all European matches this season and is scheduled to start. Poland’s Nigerian-born striker Emmanuel Olisadebe proved a constant threat against Arsenal at Highbury in their previous match, scoring one, hitting the woodwork and winning a penalty. The former Polonia Warsaw player, who came to Athens in January, will have to battle it out with Vlaovic for a place in the starting 11 team members. Former Greek player of the year and club captain Nikos Lymberopoulos has returned from an ankle injury that had sidelined him since the qualifying round against Slavia Prague. The 26-year-old began the season as first-choice partner to the 8-million-dollar Constantinou but now faces an uphill battle to regain his placing. Panathinaikos beat Schalke 2-0 in Germany in September thanks to second-half goals from Vlaovic and midfielder Angelos Basinas. My relationship with music changes every time something extraordinary happens. Following the September 11 events, I performed in my hometown, in Cardiff. I felt I had to do something for the victims. I would do the same, however, for the children of Afghanistan.